Date published: Saturday 7th November 2020 8:47
Mikel Arteta has fiercely defended Willian and is adamant the Brazilian is getting better and better and will soon hit top form for Arsenal.
Willian joined the Gunners on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea in the summer. He made a brilliant start too, providing three assists on his debut in a routine win at Fulham.
But he has yet to get on the scoresheet for the Gunners and has failed to provide a Premier League assist since his debut.
A niggling ankle injury saw him sidelined for a short spell and even Arteta admitted he needed minutes again to get going.
As such, many feel his impact has been disappointing, especially given he has seven years experience in English football behind him.
Willian, 32, is yet to click completely with his new teammates – but Arteta is backing that to change.
With Aston Villa heading to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arteta is confident the Brazilian will soon hit form.
“I think he started really well with his first game against Fulham,” Arteta said of the forward.
“Then we’ve been changing the front three, he had an injury and he didn’t have any time to train. He didn’t have any pre-season, he was later than the others.
“They need to generate that cohesion, that understanding and those relationships on the pitch. It takes time for the front players, the wide players in order for things to work better.
“I can see a development in the last two games and the understanding of things that we do but he’s not used to.
“He’s getting better and better and we all know the quality that he has and he’s a great option to have on the pitch.”
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Willian retains Arteta’s full support
Willian averaged seven goals a season during his six-year stint at Chelsea.
Arteta also hopes to see some of that form in north London before too long. As such, he has backed the former Anzhi Makhachkala man to prove his worth.
“He’s a player who can make a difference,” added the Spaniard.
“He’s got the ability to find that last action to open the door when everything is really tight.
“To score a goal, create an assist and the personality and understanding that he has on the pitch. He can manage the game we need in certain moments.”
READ MORE: Willian reveals ‘frustrating’ element of Arsenal tactics under Arteta